I am a great shoal of silver fishes, tens of thousands of me, wheeling and turning in exquisitely choreographed water-dance.
Predators tear at my flanks, but I don’t care. I swarm through the living water, feeding on the great wet living pasture within it.
I am one with the great ancient Dance of Life, eating, being eaten, embracing with every scale and fin and gill the Great Ocean-Mother.
She who gave me birth, and from whose breast I drink my Lives.
I open wide my gills, to drink Her rich aroma.
And swim into a great cloud of crude oil and chemical dispersant.
My gills clog, I begin to suffocate as poisons pour into my blood.
I die and I die and I die, tens of thousands of times, in hideous stench.
My food lies dead before me, poison to eat.
My predators die behind me, spitting my stinking corpses out,
drowned in water too poison to breathe.
And I awaken in my warm bed, the clean sheets holding me safe.
I am sweating and shaking, the dream still clear.
The stink of oil and death filling my spirit’s nose, the ache of Death my heart.
Quietly, trying not to shudder and awaken my sleeping wife, my tears soak my pillow.
Mother Ocean, Mother of all Life, what are they doing to you?
And from far away a wave rushes up a beach bearing death.
And it whispers a question with its rumbling rush.
And I am walking a long empty beach, the tide-wrack stinking of oil.
And death, for it is a wrack of dead animals.
Turtles, fishes, birds, porpoises, crabs, and some things so oiled and decayed as to be unknowable, filthy with stinking oil.
I cry out for the Goddess to come and help me stop the nightmare.
A dying pelican flops broken before me, and fixes me with a frightened yellow eye.
And the Goddess looks at me out of it, looks through me to all my lies.
I stand naked before that gaze, it sees the truth, my own thirst for oil, my cars, my airplane rides, my long commutes.
I see into Her, even in anguish Her Love for her wild deadly child, playing with Power and strange machines, stands clear.
Life-Goddess, she sees the Man-God, teeming billions of Her cyborg child.
And Her words, whispered by waves on a poisoned beach, are those of a dying saviour;
“Oh Lord, why have you forsaken me?”